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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, so for this semester I am commuting ~400 miles a week, and that seems like a decent excuse to sell my beater Taurus and buy something that will get better mileage, but also be more fun. Even though I am MKI ignorant I know that the MKI definitely fits those requirements. I know there is plenty of info on the boards, but I was wondering if, in the spirit of MKI MKII unity, I could get some quick input about pricing on various trims and years, what mileage might look like (especially highway), and generally what a dumb MKII guy needs to know about MKIs.

Interested in n/a and s/c, and price doesn't matter that much as long as I end up getting a good deal.

Even just pointing to the most relevant stickys or other threads would be a big help. But then again, wouldn't it be fun to really win me over to the dark side? (Or maybe you guys are the "light" side since MKIIs are pigs...)
 

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if you want good gas mileage get a NA my SC is good on gas but i hear the NAs are even better

id suggest getting a newer year if possible because from what ive read the early mk1s had a 5th gear problem and since your going mostly highway itll probably get annoying
 

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Mileage on the MKI varies from 20-30 mpg depending on driver, car, O2 sensor, etc. NA is better than SC, unless you drive with out activating the SC :) Some actual mileage numbers at the wiki. Also, general history and a chronology or the changes over the years. Earlier years tend to be lighter and preferred by AutoX.
 

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If you have to drive 400 miles a week you might want to look at either a low mileage MKI or some other car. MKIs are getting older and unless you buy a real nice one you are going to run into problems that might leave you stuck on the side of the road.
 

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I have a '93 Turbo and a '85 MKI. The MKI is my daily and I have no real complaints. I commute about 350 Miles per week and it's never let me down. The only thing that is kind of annoying is that the revs at freeway speeds are high by contemporary standards (75 mph is around 4k I think). Gas mileage is around 30 mpg and I don't exactly baby the car. The car is a blast to drive. Make sure you get a good one though as they aren't exactly new anymore. As much as I love the MKI if I had to do it all over again I'd get an supercahrged MKI.
 

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The age of the mk1s is starting to get worrying, but I still don't think you'll end up stranded. Mk1s are very reliable if looked after (don't confuse reliable with "cheap to maintain" -- if you want the car to take care of you, you have to take care of it).

I'm a mk1 guy for lifem but I haven't bought one in a while. Recently I've been looking at the ones for sale again. I'm thinking of getting another one this year. It looks to me like 1500-2000 will get you a really nice one (NA), in the low 100k mile range, usually even with a few desirable mods (freshened suspension, brakes, etc.). The key is going to be to get extreamly picky. Find one with a recent timing belt change (that's probably what's most likely to leave you stranded), Zero rust, and in a condition that shows that it was lovingly cared for. For SC's all the same stuff applies, but expect to pay around a grand more.

I'm going to take my time finding the right one. That's the best advice I can give you.
 

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From what I understand, the head gaskets tend to go around 170k. Mine did, under previous ownership, but the po was smart - shut down immediately and didn't start it until it was fixed. Saved the head that way.

I'm at 194k on mine, and counting. I don't drive it daily, since I have a company vehicle, but I could see myself commuting in it if I had a "normal" job. Even in Maine - with a good set of snow tires it's actually great in the snow. :)
 

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Where in upstate NY are you? I added your name to my buddy list so I'll drop you an IM when I see you come on.
 
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